Date: 15th. September 2014
Barcelona, 10 September 2014.- Barcelona has become the world biodesign capital, hosting the first edition of the European Biomedical Investor Day, an event created to facilitate market access for innovative medical technology. The event, organized by Biocat and 6 other pioneering institutions in this field from around the world, was held yesterday afternoon at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB). Future editions will be hosted in different European cities.
At the event, 10 international teams presented their projects to investors, businesspeople and healthcare professionals with the aim of attracting funds to develop them. A panel of judges chose the best project: Torix Medical, from Stanford Biodesign, a pioneering program in the field of biodesign. The winning project is a spin-off of the Stanford Biodesign program and is working to relieve urinary obstruction associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia. The company is seeking €600,000 in investment to begin clinical trials. The panel of judges also commented on the quality of the rest of the teams and of their presentations, as well as the “large number of brilliant ideas.” Biocat CEO Montserrat Vendrell presented the winners with their trophy, in the shape of the letter “b” for best, biodesign and Barcelona.
The emcee for the event was Jorge Juan Fernández, academic director of the first biodesign training program in Spain, Design Health Barcelona. He explained the role of this discipline as an “innovation methodology for medical technology that benefits the whole health ecosystem.” Moreover, he gave a show of support for the entrepreneurs: “You have to take risks and believe in young healthcare professionals, who, alongside patients, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs, will be able to have a huge impact on clinical innovation.” The head of Health Research and Innovation for the Government of Catalonia, Gabriel Capellà, welcomed participants on behalf of the Catalan government and hoped for “many more editions of this event and for the ideas presented to become companies and still be around in a few years.”
Innovative biodesign solutions from around the world
European Biomedical Investor Day featured participants from biodesign programs around the world: in addition to d•HEALTH Barcelona, these were BioInnovative Ireland (Ireland), Center for Technology in Medicine and Health (Sweden), INNO-X Healthcare (Denmark), Biodesign Israel, IHU Institute (France) and Stanford Biodesign (USA). These international programs work together in order to generate synergies.
The 10 projects presented at the European Biomedical Investor Day included usMIMA, from the d•HEALTH Barcelona postgraduate program, which has developed a device to fight constipation in patients with spinal cord injuries. The team identified this business idea while on an immersion stay at Institut Guttman. There were two Danish projects from the INNO-X Healthcare program: Team X-AID / Handis, addressing hand hygiene for healthcare professionals to improve protection against any microbiological threat, and Team Health Shenanigans / ASAT, a device to measure oxygen saturation and other blood-gas analyses for patients in Intensive Care Units. Biodesign Israel also presented two projects: Sagiv, infrared technology to help find subcutaneous veins and automatically insert a needle and cannula in the right position, and CholeVision, an innovative solution that uses backlit illumination for bile-duct extractions, providing significant contrast between the biliary tree and the surrounding tissue. BioInnovate Ireland sent the projects Tractus Medical, a medical device to heal perianal fistula tracts, and Vertex Medical, which has designed a device to eliminate clots in venous thrombosis. French IHU was represented by Lumen Surgical, which aims to develop a system for endoscopic surgery, making procedures less painful for patients with a faster recovery time. And the Swedish Center for Technology in Medicine and Health participated with Lokkupp, a geolocation platform for hospital staff.
d•HEALTH Barcelona programEuropean Biomedical Investor Day marked the end of the first edition of d•HEALTH Barcelona. The program, which began in September 2013, is the first biodesign course offered in our country and the newest of all those participating in the European Biomedical Investor Day. However, after just one year, it has reached the same level as the others, leading Barcelona to be chosen to host the first edition of the event. In this regard, Montserrat Vendrell thanked Stanford Biodesign for their support in implementing the program. Over 8 months, three multidisciplinary teams worked on innovative solutions to improve medical technology. The program included an immersion phase in three benchmark centers in Catalonia: Hospital Clínic, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu and Institut Guttman. The results: nearly 1,400 unmet medical needs detected, 40% of which have business potential.
The second edition of d•HEALTH Barcelona begins on 29 September.
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